I received this book from Oftomes Publishing in exchange for a review. Thank you so much for ending me an ARC, it means a lot to me!
contains spoilers …
“We are the last remnants of a civilization . . . we are all that remains. Hidden away. Almost as it we didn’t exist.”
Initiate by Laura L. Fox takes place in The Tunnel, which was an underwater science lab and now home to the last humans on planet earth. They’re surrounded by ice, and some of it is inside, acting as a passage way to different parts of the Tunnel. Through a labyrinth of passage ways, over 16s can go lugging – which is an awesome and dangerous extreme type of sledging, or at least that’s how I pictured it! The only thing I’m a little confused about is the ice. “I have only ever known the cold.” Is the first line, and they are surrounded by ice which is why there are living in this sanctuary but we never find out why, only that they can’t survive the “exposure” above ground. I want to know more about the outside, but I am sure my questions will be answered in book two.
“Boundless and without fear or need of security. Free and natural as birds. Young, with our whole futures ahead of us, and in total control of our destiny. Nothing could stop us now.”
Our main character, Riga Garrison comes across as a strong young woman who is both brave and determined. Teamed up with the beautiful, flirtatious and all round fantastic friend Mynta, she finds out that her whole life is about to change. She wants to protect her only friend, but when Riga and Mynta see a whale which is supposed to be extinct – symbolising the hope of one day returning to the surface – she is helpless to stop the beating her friend receives for that knowledge. This scene, when Riga jumped down the tree and was racing towards her best and only friend was so tense as we knew she wasn’t going to make it but at the same time we, the reader, just wanted her to save her friend and find out who it is. When we found out it was her mother I was shocked, I thought it was Rhys, because I didn’t know him very well there but I was deceived!
“I’m not asking you to be my company. I’m asking to be yours. You don’t have to deal with this alone.” – Mynta being an amazing friend for Riga.
On the topic of Riga’s mother, she is one complex character. We find out she’s hiding equipment in her room and knows the secrets of the whales, but she refuses to talk to it about her daughter. She’s never home, because she works all the time as a biologist, but when she is home she is usually working again. Riga even goes as far as to call her a “Mind slave.” I felt so sorry for Riga because she didn’t have a loving relationship with her mother, and she really deserved it. Ariadne actually goes as far as to handcuff her own daughter and take her into custody! This scene had me yelling at my iPad as I read because I just couldn’t believe that she would do such a thing, choose her work over her daughter. Riga is knocked out and a tracker is implanted in her so she’ll never have freedom. She is also monitored by her loathsome teacher Alchemy, which makes it so much worse. This happened after she found out her beloved father had chosen death over working for the Initiate after heR mother told them he had learned their secrets. Ariadne has made a lot of mistakes, and I hope she redeems herself, but at the same time I want Riga to get vengeance for what she has done to their family.
“That kind of power would be akin to mind control if we’re only told what they want us to know.”
The secrete? Well, it’s much bigger than the whale sighting. After Mynta is beat by Ariadne, she becomes distant, so Riga teams up with the shy character Rhys. It was so refreshing to have a shy male lead, rather than a harsh and arrogant one, a type which is currently flooding YA books right now. Together, they discover D’Andari’i which are monsters made up of many animal parts and are from another planet. We only get to see a small glimpse of these unknown creatures, but I’d love to see another one up close, just to get more descriptions. Is there more than one type? I don’t know, but without a doubt they are terrifying. It’s after this discovery that we learn about Riga’s mother and her artistic father’s death sentence which happened three years ago, leaving Riga longing for his company. This was a good turning point as the end was action packed. The last few chapters were my favourite because Laura L. Fox creates a really intriguing, intense fight between Riga, Rhys and the Initiate. – the action had me on the edge of my seat!
“Rhys grinned, tugged me down the hall, towards the end of anything we were familiar with, and into the unknown.”
So, at the end we find out that Riga and Rhys are going to the surface. I can’t wait to see what is it like outside; can people survive? Are there more monsters? Will they be able to survive? Who knows? All I know is that I cannot wait for book two!
Initiate is an intriguing story that captivates you from page one and never lets you go!
Thank you so much for taking time to read this review, I tried to keep it short as I am quite bad for rambling on and on. Any comments, leave them below and I’ll get back to you.
Little Fantasy Land